My friend Fr. Ray Blake, the great p.p. of St. Mary Magdalen in Brighton, has started an initiative which all priests of England and Wales should know about.

Go to read

WDTPRS fully supports this project and, if I were a priest in the UK, I would sign.

Perhaps my best way to support the effort – in addition to pushing it here – could be to go to England during the papal visit so that some English priest would be free to go to an event of the papal visit in September.  (I’ve seen the Pope and have had my own time with him.)

That wouldn’t be hardship duty for me, of course, especially if there were a speaking engagement or two.  But even if I could cover a couple Masses and confession for a couple days, perhaps a priest could go to see the Pope and give him his local support.

In the meantime, to the brethren in England and Wales, go to Fr. Blake’s site and sign!  I see the names of some of my friends on the list now

BTW… Tabula delenda.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Henry Edwards says:

    In some way, it seems curious that such an open letter seems necessary or useful. Since it appears to consist solely of fine sentiments that one would think any priest happy to put his name to. (The term “open letter” tends to make one expect something at least a bit controversial.)

  2. pelerin says:

    Henry Edwards states that he thinks any Priest would be happy to put his name to these statements. Sadly this does not appear to be the case. Yesterday I was reading the blog of a Priest in England who wrote ‘I’m planning to be away in mid-September. Not sorry it means that I will be out of this country when the Pope calls.’ He also wrote ‘ Poor Pope Benedict. Bad enough that his smile looks as contrived and mis-timed as Gordon Brown’s …’

    This same Priest has referred to the new translations for the Mass as ‘unworthy of the Church and just plain WRONG’ He says he feels increasingly sad about the Church which he describes as seeming to be ‘hell bent on burying its head in the sand.’

    I don’t somehow think this Priest will be signing Fr Ray’s letter.

  3. jaykay says:

    This poor priest employs a particularly unfortunate metaphor, since it seems that he is building his house on the shifting sands of public opinion. “Head in the sand”, eh? If he looked he’d see that the Holy Father is the lighthouse guiding us away from being beached on the treacherous sands.

  4. lhwhitaker says:

    Go to England, but only if you have a ticket! Pilgrims will have to pay to attend the festivities.

  5. Tim Ferguson says:

    with props to Robert Browning:

    Oh, to be in England
    Now the Pope is there,
    And those blessed to be in England
    See, some morning, Peter’s Chair.
    Hailed by highest duke and lowest priest,
    Affirming faith of best and least,
    By Alban’s blood and Newman’s vow,
    In England – now!

    He comes from Rome, his seat of power,
    With words of hope for Mary’s Dower,
    Hark! Lambeth, London, Birmingham!
    Your hearts uplift, your voices, loose!
    He preaches Christ in Twickenham,
    et Anglicanorum coetibus.
    The bishops, too will hear his voice,
    Neglected hearts, rejoice!

    And though his hair is white, like hoary dew,
    His message is both strong and true
    We pledge our hearts, our honor and our lives –
    The Pope of Christian Unity arrives!

  6. medievalist says:

    Tim Ferguson is no longer some humble in-house poet…he’s the fully-fledged Z-Laureate!

  7. irishgirl says:

    Bravo, Tim Ferguson! I second medievalist’s comment! Hail the Z-Laureate!

    What Browning poem is this, I wonder?

    I can imagine some British actor with deep voice reciting this!

  8. AnAmericanMother says:

    What Browning poem is this, I wonder?

    This one:

    Home-Thoughts, From Abroad

    OH, to be in England now that April ’s there
    And whoever wakes in England sees, some morning, unaware
    That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
    Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
    While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
    In England—now!

    And after April, when May follows
    And the white-throat builds, and all the swallows!
    Hark, where my blossom’d pear-tree in the hedge
    Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
    Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray’s edge—
    That ’s the wise thrush: he sings each song twice over
    Lest you should think he never could re-capture
    The first fine careless rapture!
    And, though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
    All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
    The buttercups, the little children’s dower,
    Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

    A good choice, Tim F.

  9. irishgirl says:

    Thanks, AnAmericanMother!

    Very cool how Tim Ferguson whips up verses for hymns and poems! Wish I were that creative!

    I don’t have a creative bone in my whole body………

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